Gender and Behaviour

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Prevalence and correlates of domestic violence among currently married women in Malawi

Martin E. Palamuleni


Domestic violence is one of the major global public health challenges. This study aims to assess the prevalence and determinants of domestic violence among married women in Malawi. Subsamples of 4916 married women who answered the domestic violence module were extracted from the 2010 Malawi Demographic and Health Survey. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, chi-square test and logistic regressions. The proportions reporting emotional, physical and sexual abuse were 22.8%, 18.8% and 13.0% respectively. Socio-economic factors (education, wealth status, work status) were not significantly related to domestic violence. Significant associations were observed between domestic violence and husband behavioural variables including whether or not the husband is jealous, drinks alcohol, does not trust wife with money. As a policy measure, information, education and communication programmes should be intensified, particularly targeting men while the patriarchal structures which reinforce power imbalance between men and women should be dismantled.

Keywords: Malawi, Domestic violence, Demographic and Health Survey, women.

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